Guest Opinion: Few choices with 750 students on the way to Oak Knoll in August Schools & Kids, posted by Editor, The Almanac Online, on Apr 29, 2008 at 8:58 pm
The recent Viewpoint article by Maddie Napel, a Hillview student, was profoundly sad. So many of us are grieving over the loss of the Oak Knoll School. It is so tempting to think that opposing the new plans will change reality.
Read the full story here Web Link posted Wednesday, April 30, 2008, 12:00 AM
Posted by Maddie, a resident of the Menlo Park: Allied Arts/Stanford Park neighborhood, on Apr 29, 2008 at 8:58 pm
After reading over the many responses to the article I wrote (some inspirational, some downright rude), I still fail to understand the matter of the trees. The fact that up to eight heritage trees need to be cut down in order to make room for students is, in fact, very hard to believe. Menlo Park, as a fairly privileged community should accept their responsibility to nature and the world around us. We cannot push out one living organism to make room for more. We can, however, try our best to work around the trees without compromising the kids and community. I fail to see how a parking lot will improve education. When global warming is such an issue, biking to school would be an easier and more effective way to lower the number of cars crowded into a small parking lot. If necessary, the parking lot can be built around the trees, can't it? I don't, contrary to popular belief, think that a tree is more important than the needs of 750 kids, but I do believe that accepting the Oak Knoll improvement plan as it is would be a mistake. We need to revise the plan so that the needs of everyone: students, trees, teachers, neighbors, and even those of us who aren't affiliated with the school whatsoever. I know that pleasing everyone isn't an option, but we can work together towards a better compromise. Only then can we come together as a united community and believe that we have done what is right and good for all involved in the situation.
Posted by Scott Oesterling, a resident of the Menlo Park: Menlo Oaks neighborhood, on Apr 30, 2008 at 12:06 pm
Ms. Bestor provides a welcome perspective on the needed renovations at Oak Knoll. I have been attending the school board meetings about the constuction for what seems to be years. I have heard the concerns of the Vine Street community, the in district neighbors, and the families that attend the school. The planning process was not perfect, but it was open to the public. I feel that the school board and the design team did due diligence and came up with a good plan that meets the needs of the students without trampling on the feelings of the neighbors. The current plan, while not perfect, is a good compromise. Try to save as many trees as we can, but lets move forward with the project.